College football is ready to kick off--on all levels

Want a front runner in college football that has the better credentials than Alabama? Lower you're sites or sights a bit and look at the FCS and Division 3 levels.


Let's start with the FCS, where North Dakota State is again the reigning national champion. Why is that a surprise? Well, it's because two years ago, the Bison had their five-season streak of national championships snapped by James Madison. The sun came out again last winter in Fargo when ND State had a pay back win over JMU and won its sixth national championship in the last seven years.

But in terms of dynasty numbers it is hard for anyone to top Division 3 Mount Union. If the name Kehres is not familiar, it should be if you are a college football fan who likes success.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

Consider Larry Kehres, who was the head coach of the Purple Raiders for 27 seasons before retiring five years ago and handing off the keys to the to kingdom to his son Vince.

While it might be tough to follow a coach who compiled a 332-24-3 record and won 11 national championships, Vince is doing alright with a 5-year record of 70-4 and 2 national championships (including a 15-0 run last season).

When I first starting covering college football at the Boston Globe in the early 1990's, Kehres was just starting to establish his reputation. I think he had won back to back national championships and another season was about to start when I visited him in the expanded closet that was his office. Trophies were on display and on the floor and Kheres was attempting to open a huge package which had just been delivered.

Being a naturally inquisitive reporter, I asked Kheres what he was doing. ""It's a new tackling sled,'' he said with a laugh and a degree of pride, with just a sheepish grin when he said that he would be the one putting things together.

Ah, life at the top in D3 football. In terms of comparison, legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne leads all major college coaches with a winning percentage of .881.

Larry Kehres' winning percentage is .924.


Are Michigan fans getting fed up with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh's (9-8 his last 17 games) failure to bring the Wolverines all the way back to the top of the Big Ten? Consider this pithy quote from a Wolverine fan after it was revealed that Harbaugh, who had taken his team to off season cultural tours of Europe the past few years--as well as practice--heard that the Wolverines were planning an African safari next season?

""How about a trip to Indianapolis (site of the Big Ten title game)?"" was the question....Scott Frost's return to his alma mater is the story of the off and pre season in Nebraska. How big a story? Well, the Omaha World Herald did a FIVE part series on Scott's return this spring. Did you know that Frost is a 3-time Jeopardy champion.

Hot seat time in the summer and perhaps in November and December.

  1. Kansas--David Beaty's team has compiled a 3-33 record in the past three seasons.
  2.  Illinois---Lovie Smith isn't feeling a lot of love after going 5-19 in his first two seasons with the Illini.
  3.  New Mexico--Bob Davie is coming off a 30-day with pay suspension after allegations about abusive behavior surfaced. Add a 3-9 record last season and there aren't a lot smiles these days at the football offices in Albuquerque.


How much of a running team was Army, which won 10 games last season? Would you believe 20 passes completed for the SEASON?....If there is a sleeper team in the ACC this season, it could be Virginia Tech. Three-fourths of the Hokies roster is comprised of freshmen or sophomores...Not much pressure on Houston coach Major Applewhite who went 7-6 in his first season with the Cougars. University president Renu Khator said that he expected 10-win seasons from his football season. ""We'll fire coaches at 8-4,'' Khator said--and no one thought she was joking....If people feel good about Michigan State football, maybe they should. The Spartans went 10-3 last season and return 19 starters. Washington has 16 starters back from its 10-3 team. Sounds like a good Rose Bowl...Kentucky doesn't have a QB on its roster who has started an SEC game....Notre Dame is looking for its first back-to-back double digit winning seasons since 1992-93...Michigan has offered two scholarships to recruits who are currently in 8th grade....Diversity is not a problem at Florida State. The Seminoles are the only FBS school with a black football coach, men's basketball coach and athletic director...Who has had the best Group of 5 conference record over the past five seasons? That would be San Diego State (32-9), which edged out Appalachian State, Toledo (30-9), USF (30-10) and Boise State (30-10)....Until he got a contract extension and a raise Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley would have made less money this season than OU QB Kyler Murray who received $4.7 million from the Oakland A's, who made him the 9th pick in the first round of the MLB baseball draft this spring[/membership]